Daniel Vettori, whose services were missed in the last ODI is expected to be back at Abu Dhabi © AFP
Daniel Vettori, whose services were missed in the last ODI is expected to be back at Abu Dhabi © AFP

By Sandipan Banerjee

Dec 16, 2014

Pakistan and New Zealand will clash for the fourth time of the ongoing five-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Abu Dhabi on Wednesday. The hosts are currently leading the series 2-1 and will look to seal it with one match to go. New Zealand on the other hand, will look to get their team combination right and win the game to keep the series alive.

The series has been quite fascinating so far. Especially the first two matches were very competitive. After losing the first match narrowly the Kiwis came back strongly with a clinical victory in the second ODI. But in the third ODI under the leadership of Shahid Afridi, Pakistan were all over New Zealand. They won the contest by a huge margin of 147 runs in a one-sided encounter. They would like to continue this momentum at Abu Dhabi as well. Pakistan are likely to field an unchanged side for this game.

For New Zealand, problems are plenty. As a skipper Kane Williamson has a tough luck so far in the series. The first thing he needs to do is to stop experimenting and play the best possible side for the match. They missed the left-arm spin of Daniel Vettori badly and it is expected that he will be back in the playing eleven at Abu Dhabi. Apart from him, the experienced Kyle Mills is also likely to make a comeback.

On a dry track at Abu Dhabi, the match will be another spin test for the New Zealand batting unit. In this situation senior players like Williamson and Ross Taylor need to bat more sensibly. The firepower in the middle order with the likes of Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi is yet to fire in the series. They can justify their tag of match-winners, by performing well in a crunch game like this. New Zealand so far had a decent tour of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and they would like to continue their good work in the last phases of the tour as well.

Squads:

Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Ahmed Shehzad, AsadShafiq, BilawalBhatti, HarisSohail, Mohammad Irfan, NasirJamshed, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), ShahidAfridi (c), SohailTanvir, Umar Akmal, Umar Gul, WahabRiaz, Younis Khan and Zulfiqar Babar.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Corey Anderson, Dean Brownlie, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Ross Taylor and Daniel Vettori.

Time:  15.00 (UAE) | 11.00 (GMT) | 16.30 (IST)

 

(Sandipan Banerjee is a reporter at CricketCountry. Cricket has been the biggest passion for him since his childhood. So, when it came to choosing his career, he chose to turn his passion into his profession. Apart from cricket he likes mountain trekking, river rafting and photography. His twitter handle is @im_sandipan)